Monday, June 29, 2009
I did my longest ride of the year on Saturday. I got up very early. I was on my bike by 5:20 am. It was just starting to get light. I decided that I would just take my sunglasses. One less thing to carry. It always take a long time to get out of DC. That’s especially true when a little over a mile from my house is the hill up Rhode Island Ave. I also decided since it was still dark to take things a little slow heading out.
There’d been a storm on Friday night and there were several limbs of trees blocking the bike path. A couple times I had to go off the path to get around them. I made very good time down the Mt. Vernon trail. I reached Mt. Vernon a little after 8. I then went down the road and turned around at Gunston Hall.
My goal was to do 60 miles. I’d hoped to add additional miles by taking the Four Mile Run trail that you pick up just south of National Airport. The problem well actually there were two problems. The most important is that this is where I ran into the wind. I just don’t ride well in wind. It really slowed me down. The other problem is it didn’t add the additional mileage I thought it would. Where the Four Mile Run trail meets up with the trail out of DC, I headed back into DC. The wind had really tired me out so I did some quick thinking and decided to head back on the Mt. Vernon Trail and turn around at National Airport.
This did the trick. I did just over 63 miles. I got back to my house around 11:30 after making a short stop to pick up something to drink. All in all I think I did pretty good. I wasn’t as prepared as I wanted to be in the morning so I probably lost about 10 minutes there. That doesn’t seem like a great deal of time but after 10 am or so the trail started to get really crowded.
I have this Friday off for the 4th. The goal is to equal if not exceed Saturday’s ride. This time it will be straight out on the W&OD Trail and I hope to leave right at 5am.
I got my cholesterol back. Some good news on the bad front and a slight disappointment on the good front. The good news on the bad front is that my bad cholesterol (LDL) went from 142 to 128. The slight disappointment is that my good went from 70 to 61. Overall my total cholesterol went from 228 to 205.
So to do a quick recap from January of 2008 my total cholesterol has gone from 230 to 205. Good cholesterol from 50 to 61. Bad cholesterol from 160 to 128.
The numbers are definitely moving in the right direction!
I’m going to try and alter my diet. Well I think a better way of putting it is what I eat. I’m going to work with my trainer and drop out some of the bad things I’ve been eating. Today I had my last Coke for a while. I’m going to see how long I can go without having one. It also means laying off all the junk food that I eat. I don’t a great deal but it’s enough. It’s probably the reason my good cholesterol dropped.
I’m also going to increase my exercising. I’m hoping to move training days to Tuesday/Thursday. This way I’d be able to add an extra day of spinning. I’m not sure that will work. In the mean time I’m going to be adding a walk after dinner. When the weather gets too hot, I’ll probably ride the stationary bike. I’m also going to get to the gym early in training days and do some cardio before the work out. I’m hoping to loose around 4 or 5 pounds this month.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Dear Friends: Obama and Hitler have a great deal in common in my view. Obama and Hitler use the "blitzkrieg" method to overwhelm their enemies. FAST, CARPET BOMBING intent on destruction. Hitler's blitzkrieg bombing destroyed many European cities - quickly and effectively. Obama is systematically destroying the American economy and with it AMERICA. First the banking/investment industry, next private enterprise (GM and Chrysler) and now HEALTH CARE.
We too CAN fight back. Contact everyone you know. Start a blitzkrieg of our own. Shut down the Capitol switchboards and the White House switchboards! Say NO to the Obamination of Obama Care!
Here's the site to go to and the incredibly lame excuse they use. The board of directors never saw the article.
Then there is an even more unbelievable defense from this women's husband:
"It wasn't meant in the way people are taking it."
Thomann conceded that "maybe she wasn't as artful as she could have been," referring to his wife's comments, but said he and his wife view Obama's push of what they deem socialist programs similar to the way Adolf Hitler spread the Nazi ideals in Germany.
"The methods that [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and [President] Obama are using to get the socialist view point across, is similar to what Hitler did. And the German people regretted it. I just happen to be up on it. I happen to be a history teacher."
Maybe she wasn't as artful. You have got to be kidding me. People are taking it out of context! How is there any other context for people to take away from this statement. Instead of defending it they should be apologising for what was said.
What alternate parallel universe do these people live in. Oh that's right they're Republicans.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
The problem with Metro has always been their inability to get information out to people in a timely manner. They still need to improve things.
Something I noticed on Monday is that when you are sitting in a car at a station with the train doors open, you don’t hear any of the announcements that are being made in the station. I think the train operator needs to relay that information to the people in the cars. Also get the speakers in the cars and in the stations to work properly. Pump up the volume so people can hear what is being said. People making the announcements need to speak loudly, clearly and slowly so everyone can not only hear what is being said but understand what is being said. This is especially true in an emergency situation.
It was only when we came out from being under ground after Union Station that we learned about the crash. I think Metro needed to say to people there’s a major problem at Takoma. Maybe saying there’s been an accident involving two trains and there are injuries. This would have shown the seriousness of the situation. It wasn’t necessary to let people know there were fatalities.
Now to switch gears a bit. I have some comments on the coverage on television. It seemed to take a very long time to get the information out that these were inbound trains. I will say even Metro had a problem with this. But this should have been determined as soon as possible. It would have reassured a great many people. It being rush hour the bast majority of people are traveling out of the city not into it as these trains were. If this had been two out bound train the numbers of dead and wounded would have been much higher.
Another thing the stations couldn’t seem to get right is the difference between a train and a car. This happened on several stations. At one point a reporter was talking about people in the third train when he meant the third car. There is a huge difference. They needed to get this right or to have someone correct them but that didn’t happen.
As always seems to be the case these days on any major event, when there is no new video, you keep seeing the same stuff over and over and over and over again. There should be some sort of a rule that if you’ve run video more than say six times in an hour give it a rest.
My favorite line well we shouldn’t speculate but what the hell let’s do it any way. There is a difference between speculating and presenting probably reasons for the accident. Or giving a history of what’s happened in the past.
The saddest part of course is that fact that nine people died. The most important thing now is to make sure this type of an accident never happens again.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
But I guess when it comes to the party of family values, it’s old hat. Yet again another Republican politician who can’t keep his zipper zipped. The Ensign story seems tame in comparison although there are plenty of additional questions to be asked about that one.
But I think it was best summed up this way [and this was before the affair was revealed from CNN]:
Earlier Wednesday, South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler said in a statement it was the “height of irresponsibility for the governor to walk out on his solemn duty to the people of South Carolina.
“When it comes to the real needs and concerns of South Carolinians, Mark Sanford has been pretty much missing in action for the last six-and-a-half years. But it is not acceptable for him to be actually missing.
“However, as disturbing as it is to walk out on your responsibilities without telling anyone, what’s more troubling is that the governor and his staff have been less than truthful about his whereabouts,” the statement said.
This from the Washington Post:
This is not the end of the story. The problem for Sanford is that he appears to have willfully misled his staff, the lieutenant governor and the people of the state about his whereabouts -- signaling that he was likely headed to the Appalachian Trail before hopping on a flight to Argentina. There will almost certainly be some sort of investigation into whether Sanford misused state funds on this trip -- remember that he took a state-owned vehicle and parked it at the Columbia airport -- that will keep this wound raw for the foreseeable future.
I guess it can only be summed up that the Republicans really do seem to be a party of hypocrites. There’ve been comments that Democrats have had affairs Clinton being the person always cited. Or there is the track of this is between the politician and his wife.
Except for a couple of things. Republicans love to look down their noses at Democrats and just about anyone else and talk about their moral values. How they are better than everyone else. They are also the party that is conducting the fight against gay-marriage by saying marriage is a sacred institution and must be protected. So the level of hypocrisy is running very very high. So these politicians deserve everything that comes there way [pun intended].
Before they talk about any sort of values they need to figure out how to keep their zippers' zipped.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I left work at my normal time. I walked to Metro Center. I new right away that something was wrong. From the top of the escalator, I saw the platform was completely full of people. In a couple of minutes there was an announcement that there was a problem train at the Tenleytown stop.
After about 10 minutes or so, a trained pulled into the station. It was of course completely full of people. In this situation I always find it amusing that people try and cram themselves on to the train when there is essential no room. I decided to wait and see how things developed. The next train came in and it was the same thing. Then there was another one but still no room.
I'd hoped that the fourth time would be the charm. But unfortunately many minutes passed until the next train came into the station. Packed again. Finally, I went toward the end of the platform and finally got on. A few minutes before this was the announcement of problems between Fort Totten and Takoma. The collision had happened (but none of us knew it at the time).
We started on our way. We held at the next station which is Gallery Place. Also at Judiciary Square. Then between that station and Union Station we were stuck in the tunnel. I would say we were between stations for at least 15 minutes probably closer to 20. We finally got into Union Station. There we received an announcement from the train operator.
There was problem between Fort Totten and Takoma. This train would be going out of service at Rhode Island Ave. (which just so happens to be my stop). Or it might go out of service even sooner at New York Ave. We then left Union Station.
Once you are out of Union Station the train goes above ground. Many people got out there cell phones. I made a couple calls to people at work to tell about the mess on the Red Line. It was then that I learned what really had happened between Fort Totten and Takoma. Other people chimed in and said there'd been an accident and at least two people had been killed.
We finally got to Rhode Island Ave. Everyone exited the train. There were buses waiting to take people to other stations. Some people that would have gotten off at Brookland, the next stop, decided just to walk.
I finally got home about an hour and twenty minutes late. But at least I got home; some people weren't so lucky.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Here's some information from the site about Artomatic:
Artomatic is a month-long art festival in DC that is free to the general public celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Monument Realty and the Capitol Riverfront BID have provided a brand-new 275,000 square foot building to host Artomatic, right next to the Nationals Stadium. The event features nine floors of visual and installation art, theater performances, dance and comedy, three music stages, street performances such as fire dancing and drum troupes, and a film screening theater. Workshops and seminars are held all month long and special events such as the Washington Post's Peeps diorama finalists, the Zombie Prom, Box Racing, body paint shows, and a no-holds-barred Art in Fashion Show.
With four stages, four bars and a lounge on each floor, the 10th Anniversary Artomatic is bigger than ever. 52,500 people attended Artomatic last year, and 70,000 are expected this year. Over 1,000 visual artists and 600 performing artists are exhibiting this year.
The first two pictures are two of my favorites from the show. I think they are just amazing.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
2PP009 – 19 June 2009
2Political Podcast Episode 9 is now available. You can listen to it on the widget on the right side of my blog, or you can go the podcast site, 2political.com. You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode.
Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This time it's John Ensign from Nevada.
From the story in the Post:
John Ensign considered a rising star in the Republican Party, yesterday acknowledged an extramarital affair with a former campaign staffer who is married to one of the lawmaker's former legislative aides.In one of the accounts the staffer was described as a close personal friend. I have to assume that is no longer the case.
What is it with these guys and zipper control. I guess the Republicans have to be grateful it was an affair with a woman and not a man.
And here's a very ironic twist (this from the Huffingtonpost):
During the height of the scandal surrounding Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, the Nevada Republican denounced the president's conduct as "an embarrassing moment for the country."
'I think we have to feel very sad for the American people and Hillary and Chelsea,' he said.
Weeks later, Ensign would call on Clinton to resign. "I came to that conclusion recently, and frankly it's because of what he put his whole Cabinet through and what he has put the country through," he was quoted saying at the time. "He has no credibility left," he added.
Wonder if he plans to resign anytime soon? Oh I forgot God's forgiven him and so has his wife so it's all ok.
More from the Post story:
Ensign acknowledged in a recent interview with The Washington Post that he was seeking to raise his national profile out of a belief that a dearth of effective GOP messengers was handicapping the party's comeback. "We have a responsibility to get our message out," Ensign said. Asked directly about his presidential ambitions, he said that most children dream of being president one day and that it was "not something I would ever rule out."
Well you certainly raised something and it was just your profile.
In yet another ironic twist Ensign is a member of Promise Keepers and the post boy for the extreme right on marriage. Taking the position that you have to ban same-sex marriage because of it's threat to traditional marriage.
And this is what gets me about these guys. Ensign, Giuliani, Gingrich who all talk about traditional values and seem to have absolutely none of them. Affairs (it seems that this not the first affair that Ensign has had; see story in USA Today) and marriage after marriage. I guess the idea at some point is they get it right.
The bottom line is these guys have absolutely no credibility to be talking about family values and the sanctity of marriage. They wouldn't recognize either of them it they were hit over the head with them.
What's the word that comes to mind . . .
Oh I know hypocrisy.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Making roofs white “changes the reflectivity . . . of the Earth, so the sunlight comes in, it’s reflected back into space,” [Energy Secretary Steven] Chu said. “This is something very simple that we can do immediately,” he said later.
The article continues:
White roofs work because of the physics of sunlight. Dark roofs absorb and hold more than 80 percent of solar energy, while white ones can reflect 75 percent of it away. That makes a white-roofed building cooler and cheaper to air-condition.
In his talk, Chu cited new research from his former laboratory, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, which imagined the result of painting about 63 percent of the roofs white in 100 large cities in tropical and temperate areas worldwide.
It estimated that would provide about the same climate benefits as taking all the world’s cars off the road for 10 years.
Now would you be able to do that? Probably not. But it wouldn’t be a bad idea going forward to have roof’s of flat buildings be a reflective. In fact California has had this in effect since 2005. DC will follow suit next year but will also allow buildings' roofs to be covered in vegetation.
The article quoted the usual skeptics that said you would never be able to change enough roofs to make that much of a difference as described above.
But they are missing the point. There’s won’t be one silver bullet to solve the problem of global warming. It will be many many little things that make an impact. This is just one more way to make that impact. And after all, if the buildings are going to be built anyway, why not make the effort to have the roofs reflect as much sunlight as possible back into the sky.
I had to get my car inspected before I could renew my registration and get my parking sticker. I went down to the inspection station last Tuesday. The car passed with no problems. in fact driving to and from the inspection station took longer than the actual inspection.
On Thursday. I went to their web site so I could pay for everything and order my parking sticker. Something I thought that was very smart is I was given a temporary registration for the car and a temporary parking permit. This was just in case I didn't receive the permanent ones before they expired on June 28.
I figured no matter what I was set.
Now comes the dumbfounded part. In the mail on Saturday, there was an envelope from the district government. I thought what could this be. Well it was my registration and parking sticker. I got them in two days. Two days!!!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Thursday morning on my ride in to work on the Metro, there was suddenly security everywhere you looked. On the Rhode Island Avenue platform there were no fewer than five metro police. At least this time they didn't have automatic weapons. But I did notice at another stop that the canine units were out too.
The thing that gets me is what the police do. See if this would make you feel more secure. A train pulls into the station. The doors open. Several police officers step into cars. They look to the right and then to the left and then step off the car. Now maybe in the twenty seconds or so that they survey the car they might just be able to spot a bad guy. Of course as a civilian in these matters, I haven't received the training that these guys have. But what exactly would you spot in such a short time. Unless someone has a sign on that says "hey I'm a terrorists" I can't see what this accomplishes.
Then again maybe the idea is to show a police presence. Maybe the idea is to make the bad guys think twice about doing anything. Maybe the idea is to reassure the public at large that law enforcement is out there protecting the public.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Last night I tuned into a discussion about this. One of the people was saying that both of the incidents were by lone nuts. They further stated it is important to distinguish between one lone nut and an actual movement that is undertaking these activities. I don’t exactly understand the hair splitting.
Just because these people are not card carrying members of some extremist group does not mean these groups don’t influence these people. Or did not in some way shape or form influence their actions. The world wide web gives just about everyone access to these groups home page and the hate they spew. So you don’t have to be an official member of the group to be influenced by them. The actual numbers of these groups is probably much larger than reported because of this easy access. And why risk some of your own members in these attacks when you can stoke the “lone nut” to carry things out for you.
From the story about our current lone nut:
Von Brunn, who lives in Annapolis, was known for decades to fellow white supremacists who read his elaborate conspiracy theories on his Web site and met him through a network of radical racist groups.
And here’s a gem of a quote from an acquaintance of Von Brunn who describes himself as a white separatist:
“The responsible white separatist community condemns this,” he said. “It makes us look bad.”
If it wasn’t so scary it would make you laugh the “responsible white separatist community” who exactly would that be say the Klan.
It puts in proper perspective a Department of Homeland Security report on the threat to the US from far-right extremist groups. My friend Arthur did a post about it in April.
To me the lesson from this is we need to get over the idea of the lone nut out there. In all likelihood the net has connected these lone nuts to a great many of the same type of nuts.
The best one is you can actually make an appointment for the inspection. You get to go to the front of the line instead of having to wait in line. The appointments are in 15 minute increments. So if you sign up it's a fast and easy way to get the inspection done.
My trip down to the inspection station wasn't all that easy. I had a pretty good idea of how to get there but thought I'd use my GPS. I programed the route in but realized I hadn't told it to avoid highways. So the GPS wanted me to take several highways in the middle of morning rush hour. I decided that that was a mistake. After the most indirect route to this place possible I finally got there. It took about half an hour. If I'd just trusted my instincts I think I would have been there in a little over 20 minutes.
Once there I should them my piece of paper with the appointment details and I was sent to lane 3. There was only one other car in front of me. The place wasn't all that busy but I'm glad I made the appointment. The inspection took all of maybe 15 minutes and then I was on my way.
This morining I did the other part of the registration process. I had to pay a late fee because my vehicle inspection had expired. I thought everything expired at the same time but that proved not to be the case. That's all been processed. I also got a temporary registration and parking sticker just in case the final ones don't arrive by the time they expire. Considering how badly the District usually handles these types of things, I really impressed.
The best part is I don't have to do it for another year.
Monday, June 08, 2009
The professional weather guessers said that by Friday afternoon all the rain we'd been having would be out the area. Unfortunately that didn't happen until Friday evening.
The original group was going to be around seven. But as the day progresses it got smaller and smaller. I really can't say I blame people who wants to sit and watch a game in the rain.
Lisa and I went down early and went to Artomatic: as their site says:
Held regularly since 1999, Artomatic is the Washington, D.C., area's one-of-a-kind multimedia event, involving hundreds of regional artists, performers and volunteers. The free event is an arts extravaganza, featuring paintings, sculpture, photography, music, theater, poetry, dance and workshops.
There's something like nine floors of exhibits. We walked through about 3 floors. Some of the works were very good and others well let's just say art is in the eye of the beholder.
Around 6 we headed off to the park. We met up with Andy and Lis and went in. The only thing I had to buy was my cracker jack. My ticket in and dinner were provided for by my friends.
The game itself was pretty close. It went into extra innings but in the end the Nationals were unable to clinch the deal. They ended up loosing to the Mets 3-1. And speaking of the Mets it seemed more like we were in New York then in DC. I'd say there were about the same number of Mets fans as Nationals fans.
It started to mist and then around 8pm for about half an hour the rain was enough that we left our seats. But after about half an hour it stopped. We didn't go back to our original seats (which were not bad at all we were just almost directly behind home plate). We found some very nice seats along the third base line where we watched the rest of the game.
About 10 minutes after the game were the fireworks. And I have to say we were all very impressed by them. They went on for a good ten minutes. It was a great way to end a very enjoyable evening.
And a great way to spend my birthday!
Saturday, June 06, 2009
2PP008 – 5 June 2009
2Political Podcast Episode 8: As always, we begin with Jason’s special days, but today we have a VERY special day! From there, it’s a discussion of the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. What do we think about the Supreme Court make-up? Arthur watched Faux News, and that relates to the president’s trip to the Mideast. Arthur corrects Faux News, which is easy to do. Arthur also has a special adventure to share, one that relates to our previous episode.
After the discussion, we have comments on our previous episode. That raises topics we discuss. Join the discussion!
Please leave a comment 2political.com, where you'll find links for this episode. You can also listen to or download all previous episodes on the site, or on the widget on the right side of this blog. US comment line: 206-426-0527.
Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes
Friday, June 05, 2009
Actually I only have about 8 more minutes and then it's no longer my birthday. I had a very good one. And now during the last few minutes of it I'm enjoying a piece of that wonderful cake I talked about earlier.
More about my day tomorrow but now back to the important stuff the cake and I've got some cards and packages to open.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Wednesday morning I was walking to the subway to get to my personal training session. I was about two strides from stepping off the sidewalk and on to the crosswalk when this woman made a right hand turn. The light in her direction was red. She simply ran the light. She didn’t even bother to slow down. I don’t think at any time she was aware that I was there. I draw this conclusion from the fact that once she made her right turn she looked very startled to see me. I don’t think there is any question that if I had stepped off the curb she would have hit me.
As I’ve often said stop light and signs are to many people merely stopping suggestions. If they are in a hurry, they don’t stop. They don’t even slow down. In fact I’ve lost count of the number of times a light’s turned yellow and I hear cars speed up. They usually start into the intersection when the light is red. I have to say I’m surprised that more pedestrians aren’t struck. The moral from this is never to step off the curb right after the light changes and you get the walk sign.
Rain rain go away
It’s been a rather rainy spring. I seem to be cutting my grass all the time. As I’ve said before, I hate cutting the grass. It doesn’t take all that long to do but it’s enough time to be a pain. I also have to carry the mower through the house to cut the front or back. I suppose I could walk to around the alley to the front and vice verse but that would really be a waste of time. So after cutting the grass I have to vacuum the living room. Pretty strange.
I was hoping to start riding my bike to work this week but well the rain’s gotten in the way. I hope to ride at least two days out of the week. Tuesdays and maybe Thursdays. I might try it on one of the days I have a personal training session. I need to do a test ride to see how long it would take to get to the gym.
At least the rain is having a positive effect on the flower boxes out front. I do have to remember to water the one that’s on the far side and rarely gets much rain. As for the seeds I planted well they seem to be pretty much of a bust. There are a few that are still trying to grow. As we say in my family we’ll see.
I also hope the rain goes away for tomorrow. A bunch of us are going to go to a National’s game.
Why is there fragrance in sun block? I think instead of saying fragrance they say stench. I have to ask why do all sun blocks have that overwhelming clawing smell. How about an unscented version? Like the way laundry detergent has. After a long ride I come home reeking of the sunblock fragrance. Even after taking a long shower there is still the residual whiff of the smell. Please make something that has no smell.
On the Metro
I’ve notice more and more people eating on the Metro. And these are people who don’t look like tourists. I’m willing to give tourists a break. Just one more thing they are clueless about on the Metro. But these people eating well. Perfect example this morning where a guy was eating a piece of pizza. I guess it was breakfast. The Metro board decided recently not to allow food vendors inside the stations. I think that was a good idea. It’s just going to encourage people to eat and drink more on the trains. I don’t mind it all that much except if you sit down in a seat where a Coke’s been spilled and it’s all sticky. I had that happen last year. I happened to be in shorts and it was just a little painful getting up off the seat when I reached my stop. Food, in general, seems to make less of a mess than drink.
The other thing I’ve notice on the Metro lately, and this one does bug me, is people hogging seats. I don’t mind when the cars are empty but people seem to think it’s ok to hog the seats during rush hour. I’d say the majority of occasions another rider has to ask them to move their stuff. It shouldn’t have to come to that. Once the car starts filling up people should be moving their stuff.
So at work we had chocolate cake to celebrate. Here's a couple of pictures of what's left of it.
And, at great personal sacrifice, I've taken the cake home and will have to eat the rest of it. Somehow I'll rise to the challenge or perhaps better put I'll expand from the challenge.
Yum Yum Chocolate Cake . . .